Fukuoka – It was around April 2019 when Tadatsugu Inoue of the Mii no Kotobuki sake brewery noticed the name of future U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden appearing more regularly in the news, providing his business with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The coincidence of his brand being called Hojo Biden was not lost on Inoue, master brewer of the company based in Tachirai, Fukuoka Prefecture, leading him to think, “If this person can become president, our sake might really start selling.”
Now, despite the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic, demand for Hojo Biden — the part of the name shared with the U.S. president meaning pastoral beauty and rhyming with the English word Eden — has been brisk, to say the least.
“Our company has always had good fortune,” said Inoue.
Mii no Kotobuki, founded in 1922, introduced the rice wine with a robust flavor meant for sake connoisseurs back in 1996 when Joe Biden was still a U.S. senator who had already made one unsuccessful bid at the Democratic presidential nomination.
The sake had long been a favorite of Takehiko Inoue, whose “Slam Dunk” manga gained worldwide popularity during its publication from 1990 to 1996, leading the author to reveal in 2008 that the brewery’s product had inspired a character in the basketball-themed series…